Blue Note


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May 30 2019

Mira Film and Eagle Rock Entertainment have announced the start of the US theatrical rollout for the award-winning documentary Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes – directed by Sophie Huber. The feature documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018, has played at over 50 international film festivals, and recently came out to critical acclaim in the UK and Canada. The deep dive into one of the most renowned jazz record labels will hit US screens starting on June 14 in New York at the Metrograph, and June 28 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica. The film will then roll out to cinemas across the nation this summer followed by TV broadcasts and a DVD release later in the year. Watch the trailer HERE.

One of the most important record labels in the history of jazz—and, by extension, that of American music—Blue Note Records has been home to groundbreaking legends as well as present-day luminaries. Founded in New York in 1939 by German Jewish refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, the history of Blue Note Records goes beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom, the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative and revolutionary force. Through rare archival footage, current day recording sessions, and conversations with jazz icons and future legends, Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

“Blue Note Records is one of America’s most important cultural treasures, as it continues to house bold artists who push the boundaries,” states Huber, who is best known for the critically acclaimed Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. “It is important that this film comes out now, as it touches on topics that continue to be vital in this political climate. The film celebrates the vision and quest of these powerful artists from the past, the present and indeed the future. It is an honor to be a part of the project and to now release this film in America, the origin of this music.”


See what the critics are saying:

This damn-near immaculate music documentary by Swiss film-maker Sophie Huber pays tribute to Blue Note Records... Huber crafts a respectful, crisply told but depth-plumbing history of the label... hits nearly every music-doc note with an exceptional clarity of tone.”—The Guardian

Glorious and invaluable documentary by Sophie Huber of the ultimate jazz record label Blue Note Records.”—Paper Magazine

The 85-minute film is a jazz nerd’s dream… Jazz’s evolution into hip-hop is a major theme in Beyond the Notes, which is in some ways also a hip-hop documentary and a passing of the torch.”—The Root

It’s about music, yes, but the label and this film concern more: Life-lessons, collaboration, open-minded attitudes and the value of submitting to the now.”—Globe and Mail

Is it possible to be a fan of jazz and not be a fan of Blue Note Records? At once a kind of steward station, hooking listeners up with recordings that change their lives, and a beacon pointing out where to locate sounds that recalibrate jazz’s possibilities, the label has always been a conductor of comfort and community. Both are on ready display in this Sophie Huber documentary... It’s a highly graphic documentary, you might say, with the work of Reid Miles acting as a sort of syncopation, punctuating rests and transitions. But it’s also a film of quiet asides, conversational moments when someone says plenty without conscious awareness that they’re saying much of anything... That’s what you want your jazz to be. And this is what you want your jazz doc about that jazz to be.”—JazzTimes



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Michael Cuscuna

Lou Donaldson

Robert Glasper

Herbie Hancock

Derrick Hodge

Norah Jones

Keith Lewis

Lionel Loueke

Terrace Martin

Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Kendrick Scott

Wayne Shorter

Marcus Strickland

Rudy Van Gelder

Don Was